California strawberry growers hoping for more rain

From Fresh Plaza | 17 March 2022

Overview of strawberries from California in the U.S. market, complemented by charts from Agronometrics. Original published on March 16, 2022. 

Following reports of rain in northern California yesterday, growers readied themselves…and then said: more please.

“We had a few sprinkles this morning but nothing significant,” says J.T. Tipton, district manager with California Giant Berry Farms based in Watsonville, CA. “There was no damage from the small system that came over. The next chance is Saturday but it’s not looking like much.” He adds that there’s not that much fruit in the north so the rain isn’t expected to hurt agriculture. “All of California is in desperate need of rain. We welcome it with open arms,” he says.

Ending the rainy season

It’s a sentiment Steve Johnston of G.W. Palmer & Co. Inc. based in Salinas, CA shares. “It looks like another bust forecast for rain here in Calif. Our rainy season only has a couple of weeks to go historically. The rainy season is October through March here and we have been very dry for 2 ½ months now and we really don’t have any big change coming,” says Johnston.

He also notes the chance this week of some potentially light showers but laments the lack of a more sizeable storm system. “We need rain badly. There is nothing better than a .50 inch to an inch of rain to perk up the strawberry plants in the springtime to make flowers and get the plants going,” he says. “The quality of the California strawberries is good. But if we could get a few good rains it will help make for a better berry as we head into spring.”

strawberry volumes by hi 16

Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.
(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

The News in Charts is a collection of stories from the industry complemented by charts from Agronometrics to help better tell their story.

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